The Tigers just announced that they’ve reached a one-year deal with Phil Coke.
Coke’s a lefty specialist that, presumably, will be paid like a lefty specialist. Of course, early in the year he was given a shot at the closer’s role as Jim Leyland cast about for replacements for Jose Valverde. Coke did poorly with that before injuring his groin. After he came back he was demoted to Triple-A Toledo for a while. Just a lost year in which he only mustered a 5.40 ERA and 30/21 K/BB ratio over 38 1/3 innings.
Coke earned $1.85 million in 2013 and was arbitration-eligible. He probably would have been non-tendered, though, so the guess is that this is a pretty cheap deal.
In a mailbag published on Thursday, Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post says he has spoken with Arenado and his agent from the Wasserman Media Group. Based on that, he says the Rockies have not broached the subject of a contract extension with the All-Star third baseman.
Arenado will enter his second of four years of arbitration eligibility after earning $5 million for the 2016 season. He’s due to a hefty pay raise and will continue on that track into free agency after the 2019 season. It may behoove the Rockies to get extension talks started sooner rather than later. Saunders, however, thinks that Arenado wants to see if the Rockies become contenders in the next two seasons before signing the dotted line.
Arenado, 25, enters Thursday’s action batting .293/.361/.567 with 40 home runs, 130 RBI, and 112 runs scored in 678 plate appearances. His 40 homers is best in the National League and the 130 RBI are best in the majors. He has an argument for winning the National League Most Valauble Player Award.
Agent Scott Boras eulogized client Jose Fernandez at his funeral on Thursday. Boras couldn’t even get through the first sentence without breaking down in tears. It was difficult to watch without wanting to sob myself, but it was a touching eulogy that spoke for a lot of people who were fond of Fernandez.